McCamy Taylor's Journal
Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 07:05 PM
Number of posts: 16,782
Number of posts: 16,782
Here is my fiction website: http://home.earthlink.net/~mccamytaylor/ My political cartoon site: http://www.grandtheftelectionohio.com/
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How can we have Watergate 2017 without a Saturday Night Massacre? Make it someone impeccable. A jurist without a political affiliation. Someone Trump will be afraid to fire----but will end up having to fire anyway. Someone so clean he squeaks---and that goes double for his family---can't have Russia blackmailing him (or her).
Any suggestions for the perfect Archibald Cox 2017?
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Tue Jan 10, 2017, 10:44 PM (3 replies)
For years, the right has been harping on the idea of improving the supply side of health care in America. How do we achieve that?
Current health care laws and regulations discourage or prohibit cost-cutting, quality-improving innovation. Markets must reward innovators who provide services that consumers value, and these innovators must not face arbitrary punishment for taking reasonable risks.
In other words, if folks want snake oil, then the FDA should allow the market to supply snake oil and insurers should cover snake oil—and snake oil suppliers should not have to worry about pesky lawsuits. If folks want legal amphetamines and legal downers and legal euphoric agents, then the market should be free to provide them. If the market wants thicker hair and longer lasting erections, then that is where we should focus our health care spending.
What? You thought Idiocracy was a cautionary tale? A dystopian future? Silly health care consumer. It was a How to Manual for Supply Side Success.
“Reasonable risk.” What exactly is a reasonable risk? Depends upon whom you ask. The erectile dysfunction market supports the slaughter of African rhinos in its never ending quest for a longer lasting erection. Therefore, the erectile dysfunction market is likely to say that no risk is too great to get what it wants. That’s because consumers value a long lasting erection.
The diet market will go to any lengths to fit into a size zero. As a chronic dieter once said “I wouldn’t mind getting cancer if it meant I could die thin.” The diet market will accept any risk to get what it wants. Because consumers value being able to count each rib without actually having to live in a famine stricken country.
What do American consumers value? They want youth and beauty---and therefore a lot of people in Hollywood are on Human Growth Hormone and they periodically have to shave their Abe Lincoln chins. They want to live forever---but they also want to drink to excess, eat to excess, consume a combination of legal and illegal drugs to excess, brandish firearms without a clue about how to use a gun safely. And therefore, they want replacement hearts, lungs, hips, knees, ankles, livers for when the ones nature gave them crap out.
One supply side health care advocate insisted that health care costs would go down if the health care industry would only model itself after iPhone. To which I feel compelled to ask---is designed obsolescence something you are looking for when you get your hip replaced? Do you choose your new heart knowing that it does not quite fulfill all your needs but that’s ok, because next year surgeons will have the 2.0 version available?
If supply side health care was all about giving consumers what they need, it would be sensible health care. But too often, people---health care consumers---want something they do not need. And too often, health care providers want to make consumers want something they really do not need---because it makes the providers more money in the short run.
What makes health care supply side providers lots of money in the short run? Surgery. Patent medication. More surgery. More patent medications.
What does not make health care supply side providers lots of money in the short run? Diet counseling. Exercise counseling. As we gradually wean ourselves from our addiction to alcohol, we are killing ourselves with obesity. But there is no money in preventing obesity---and lots of money in treating it. Surgery and patent medications. And artificial hips and knees with the promise that if the person suffering from obesity can just get out there and exercise again, the pounds will melt away magically---never mind that the artificial hip is even less reliable than the natural one that got shot to hell from decades of carrying too much weight.
If your back hurts, you can easily find a surgeon who will take you to the operating room for a procedure that is just as likely to leave you will something called “Failed back syndrome” as fix you. What? You don’t believe me? Here’s the ICD 10 code for Post laminectomy syndrome. M96.1
Welcome to the Supply Side of Health Care. Enjoy your stay. If you are lucky, maybe you will still be able to walk once you get everything that the industry tells you that you want.
What is the alternative? A cradle to grave single payer program that emphasizes disease prevention . How does Western Europe achieve longer life expectancy and better outcomes at half the cost to consumers? A cradle to grave single payer program that emphasizes disease prevention. But disease prevention does not allow an investment banker to buy the patent on a crucial medication and mark the price up a 1000 times. Disease prevention reduces the market for that marked up drug. Disease prevention does not fill operating rooms. It does not sell artificial joints. It does not allow a medical school graduate to quickly pay off his loans and amass a fortune so that he can retire early---not the way that joint-replacement surgery does.
And speaking of joint replacement surgery, who has Trump selected to guide health care in this country for the next four years? A fierce advocate of supply side.
Mr. Price, an orthopedic surgeon who represents many of the northern suburbs of Atlanta, speaks with the self-assurance of a doctor about to perform another joint-replacement procedure. He knows the task and will proceed with brisk efficiency.
For those who have not (yet) priced a knee or hip replacement, they can set you or your insurer back $20 K to $60k depending upon where you have the surgery done.
That is 5 to 15 times the total annual per capita health care spending of Canada. Meaning if you just snagged a new knee , congratulations! You have just used up 15 years worth of health care! You truly are a successful consumer in the world of supply side health care. Now, don’t forget the other knee and both hips. There is no reason you should not use up 60 years worth of health care! Stimulate the economy! Make America great again for your orthopedic surgeon and your local specialty hospital and the company that makes your artificial joints. But if the new knee fails, buyer beware---supply side health care only works if you are willing to assume all the risks associated with your risky surgery. That means, do not go crying to a plaintiffs attorney if your knee breaks leaving you in a wheelchair----
And that is why health care cannot be compared to iPhones. If your iPhone is not the latest model, you can survive—no matter what your teenagers may claim. But if your heart or liver or knee is not working, you will suffer. Suffer horribly, in pain, perhaps in to the point of death. Your family will lose its provider and will plunge into poverty. Health is not optional. It is not a consumer choice. It is essential to life, like air and water---two other things which supply side providers will no doubt try to sell us in the future, for a profit.
Take a walk on the supply side? Dude, once the supply side is through with you, you will be lucky if you can crawl.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Fri Jan 6, 2017, 07:39 PM (0 replies)
As I have pointed out in some much longer posts, Trump got where he is thanks to a lot of self styled American "outlaws" who see him as their Robin Hood---their Bandit King. Their votes got him close enough to Clinton so that the election could be hacked. And now they have his back. This bat-shit crazy GOP demographic is extremely vocal and heavily armed, and therefore the GOP is helpless to do anything about Trump, as much as they might want to dump him for Pence.
To key to unseating Trump is to drive a wedge between him and his outlaw base. You do this by accusing him of violating the Outlaw Code. That means stories about Trump as Rapist, Trump as Cheapskate, Trump Abusing His Power to Take Down Little People, Trump as Coward , Trump in Bed With the KGB, Trump is a Snitch and Trump Has Given in to Blackmail.
Any journalist or politico who wants to hurt Trump where he lives will focus on one of these areas. For example,
The story about how the Trump foundation is stealing money from cancer kids is perfect! It gets an A Plus. Bandit Kings never ever steal from the poor to give to themselves.
The story about how he parties with mobsters is a snoozer that is probably intended to distract. C Minus. No make that a D. It only makes him look more glamorous to the outlaw wannabes. And scares the crap out of Republicans.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Wed Jan 4, 2017, 03:57 AM (2 replies)
Almost called this one Deconstructing Trump for Dummies, but we know who calls us dummies. Even though we have actually been known to crack a book from time to time. I just read Bandits, Eric Hobsbawn’s book about social outlaws, and it was a gold mine for any political strategist trying to separate Trump from his Loyal Base---make that Would- Make- a -Screaming Fan-Girl-Throwing-Panties-Look-Mature-and-Rational-in-Comparison-Loyal Base. The self-styled mostly rural and working class “outlaws” who adore Trump because they are convinced that he is one of them. Sad, I know. Delusional. But they have been shat upon so many times in recent years that they are desperate for a savior.
But first, to set the mood. Some (Noble Prize Winning Author) Bob Dylan lyrics from his greatest album, John Wesley Harding.
John Wesley Harding
Was a friend to the poor
He trav'led with a gun in ev'ry hand
All along this countryside
He opened a many a door
But he was never known
To hurt a honest man….
Yes, I know. Utter bullshit. Hardin was a mean sonofabitch who shot a man for snoring. But Dylan was making a point. We don’t write folk ballads about real outlaws. We craft myths about heroic figures who battle injustice and aid the weak.
Hobsbawn’s book is a great read and I recommend it highly for anyone who wants to understand why so many Americans think the sun shines out of Donald Trump’s pasty white ass. But, in case you are pressed for time, here is the Cliff Notes Version: rural and agrarian people around the world adapt to times of economic hardship by spawning “outlaws” whose economic function is to keep the family/farm/village from starving and give them hope that brighter days are ahead so they don’t all drink the grape Kool-Aid together. Think Robin Hood.
Yes, I know Trump is no Robin Hood. Robin Hood was no Robin Hood. Robin Hood is a myth. Myths do not make sense, but that doesn’t make them any less real. They serve a purpose. Unfortunately for the self-styled outlaw Americans who voted for Trump, Trump’s purpose is not that of the social outlaw he pretends to be.
Ok, ok. Enough verbiage. Here is the promised How To Deconstruct Trump Guide (Made REAL Simple):
Part 1. When writing something aimed at the Trump “Outlaw” Base Do NOT attack Trump for:
Nepotism ----the outlaws call that taking care of family
Hacking the Election----Social Outlaws maintain their power by using magic, according to Hobsbawn. That’s how they perform their near miraculous feats in the face of almost overwhelming odds, like hiding out for years even though all the kings horses and men are after them. To you and me, a hack is a crime. To members of the outlaw base, it is a kind of magic that they will never understand, but they wish they could do it, too.
Recklessness/Impulsivity---to an outlaw, that is just fearlessness
Being Spiteful----outlaws live for revenge. They will tolerate almost any kind of evilness if they think it was done to “get even”.
Lavish Spending ----that equals trickle down “generosity” if you are a self-styled just barely getting by working class “outlaw” in the U.S.
Crimes—make that most crimes (see below for Rape). These are “outlaws” forchrissake! They don’t give a rat’s fart if their social outlaw savior breaks the law. Listing Trumps crimes for them is a waste of ink and/or electrons.
Lies---The Germans have a phrase for it. They call it (in German, of course) bandit romanticism. The outlaw base does not expect Trump to tell the truth. They want him to stick to the script. See Recklessness/Impulsivity above. That’s the kind of honesty the outlaw base wants.
Promiscuity---social outlaws are famous for their virility and insatiable appetite for women. They like to brag about it. Maybe because they spend so much time up in the mountains with a bunch of other young men and they don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea. Bragging about loving the “pussy” is what real men do. The self-styled outlaws would be more worried by some guy who did not brag in front of other guys. But that’s all it must be. Talk. (See Rape below)
Putin as Russian President--- The tricky part about outlaw wannabes----they dream about the good old days when everything was easy and a white man was treated with respect and God watched over us all, Amen. They are perfectly capable of loving some far away king or president if they think he represents good old fashioned values---and if he is too far away to have actually gotten up their ass, the way that the local bank has gotten up their ass. Indeed, Robin Hood was always loyal to king and God, even as he fought the Sheriff of Nottingham. One of the social bandit’s jobs is to clear out the “bad” local law so that the light of the distant “good” law can shine once again on the peasants (mostly but not exclusively white and male) upturned faces. Cue the rousing music. Roll credits.
Vulgarity---can you say “man of the people”? I knew you could.
Poaching public lands----poaching is not even a crime to a peasant. God put all that wild game---and all those beautiful black mountains there for people to exploit. It’s a sin to just leave it lying there. If no one is using it to make money, then the outlaw base will applaud when Trump appropriates it for strip mining or for a new casino or for a pipeline.
Bigotry—another thing to understand about the outlaw base. They long for the good old days when whites lorded over blacks and men lorded over women and kids kept their mouths shut. They think the parts in the Constitutional about “All men are created equal” apply only to straight, heterosexual Christian men. To keep the Baptists from lording it over the Anglicans or vice versa. And that is about as much tolerance as they expect from their president. All Christians (except maybe Quakers) are more or less equal in the eyes of the law, even if God is going send most of them to hell for choosing wrong.
Part 2. When writing something aimed at the Trump “Outlaw” Base DO attack Trump for:
So, what is left to write about Trump if we want to show his outlaw base that he is not on their side and he is not an outlaw, he is just as bad as every other corporate shill that has ever been President of this country? Lots. Social bandits have to follow rules---and Trump has not been following the rules, not by a long shot.
Rape—the social bandit loves women but he never ever rapes them. Why do you think that Ken Starr and company were so eager to prove that Bill Clinton was guilty of rape as well as infidelity? The outlaws love a virile man, but they despise a man who victimizes women. James Comey threw himself on his sword with all that bullshit about the warrant in the last weeks of the campaign, because Trump’s “pussy grabbing” and “underage booty ogling” was about to alienate the outlaws. They had to cook up a distraction real quick. Now, Team Putin/Trump hope that the press will drop the subject, as they tend to do after an election (“The voters selected him anyway, even knowing about his sexual assaults, so they must not care”). Don’t drop it. This needs to be topics number one, two and three. And women---like the million women who will descend upon DC soon---are the ones to spread the message. Trump is a groper, an ogler, maybe even a rapist. And no self-respecting social bandit ever rapes a woman.
Cowardice---how many draft exemptions did Trump get?
Cheapskate---every time he does not pay his bills, he violates the social bandit code which is to let money flow like water through his fingers to help out his friends and neighbors. Because to a social bandit friendship trumps wealth (sorry about the pun). And this is where the real money is (sorry about the second pun). All rich people are cheapskates, Scrooges. If they weren’t, they would not amass such obscene piles of money. Look around Trump’s closet and you will find an endless parade of hard working Joes and Juanitas whom he stiffed. They all deserve their day in the sun. Let’s hear what they have to say. At the very least, getting paid for their stories will offset their economic loss at the hands of a man who never met a child whose candy he wouldn’t steal.
Banking----Who is the “man” to outlaws? Not the DEA. Not the Sheriff. It’s the local bank. Trump is loading his cabinet with banking industry insiders. The outlaw base is in denial. They think Trump is just playing ball with the establishment and that he will keep the greedy sons-of-bitches in check. Boy, are they gonna be disillusioned when a second round of foreclosures begins. Because the predators who are backing Trump will not set their sights on the well to do city folks of California and New York who voted for Clinton. Those people have lawyers. They will target the same underinsured, underemployed desperate Americans who looked to Trump to be their hope, their savior.
Putin as Former KGB----Manchurian Candidate. Do I need to spell it out to you? There are still some folks in this country who think “red” is an insult. And they voted for Trump.
Injustice----social bandits are fair. If Trump uses the power of the federal government to smite every little cartoonist or journalist who cracks a joke at his expense, he will soon look like a great big bully rather than a rebel. And we all know that no matter how hard he tries, he will not be able to resist the urge to abuse his authority.
Snitch---I smell a rat. Trump has done business with way too many mobsters and snitches not to have snitched himself. The person who can prove that Trump sold out an ally in order to protect his own skin will drive a great big wedge between Trump and his outlaw base.
Blackmail---another rat we have all sniffed. Is Trump being blackmailed by Russia? It would explain so much. And it would absolutely horrify and alienate the outlaw base more than anything short of video of him raping an underage girl. Because a social bandit does not give in to blackmail!
The last two call for some investigative journalism. Have fun, investigative journalists! Remember Woodward and Bernstein!
Oh, and remember, context--and audience---counts. The "don'ts" above are all "does" when you are writing for Democratic audiences. But if you only ever write for a Democratic/liberal base do not be surprised if none of the outlaw base listens.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sun Jan 1, 2017, 11:37 PM (3 replies)
Serious questions. Appreciate your thoughts. Seems to me that if veterans---especially those with PTSD or other mental or physical problems that occurred as a result of military action-----have their care outsourced to private docs, a lot of sensitive military secrets suddenly will be recorded on less than secure electronic medical records. The insurers who administer the so called "private" VA will also demand access to records. Those insurers will also be vulnerable to hacks.
What if patients tell their non VA docs about secret missions? What if non VA docs learn about secret weapons? All of that information would then be available to the same Russians who hacked the election. Is this the real reason Trump has been so hot to "privatize" the VA? He will not be president long---and Russia will no longer have access to his security briefings. But if the VA is disbanded and the work outsourced to the private medical community, Russia could have an entirely new database to mine for secret information about our national security.
VA mental health records could also be exploited by domestic right wing terrorists who want to recruit. They could use what they learn to target veterans, taking advantage of their illness. Or by threatening to blackmail them. "We'll tell everyone what you did in the war of you don't do what we say."
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Fri Dec 30, 2016, 03:57 AM (29 replies)
It bears asking. The real power of the United States president is that he can pardon criminals and tell the DOJ to lay off VIPs like Russian mob boss ( and Putin BFF) Semion Mogilevich. As long as Mogilevich stays on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted, he has to stay in hiding in Russia or other countries that do not extradite to the US.
Here is some info on Mogilovich. This man has his hands in everything especially Russian energy. He could well be the power behind Putin's throne (those who know Putin from his KGB days describe him as "not too bright.")
There are deep ties between the KGB and the Russian Mob that go way back to the days when Russian criminals were sent to the U.S. both to get them out of Russia's hair and to act as agents.
Saying that the leader of another country hand selected Trump is much better, politically speaking, than saying that the leader of the Russian Mob hand selected Trump. How do we know that Putin is not doing Mogilovich's bidding? How do we know that when Trump vowed to fight even if he lost it was not because some mobster told him "You win and pardon me and all my boys....or else."? Did you see the deer in the headlights look in Trump's face for just a moment when they told him on live television that he had won? He did not look like a man whose dearest wish that been granted. He looked scared.
I will be interested to watch what happens to Russian prisoners in U.S. custody and those who are currently under indictment or being investigated. And speaking of investigation, why is Trump so eager to get the details of criminal investigations before he is even sworn in to office? Is he afraid that the Obama DOJ will indict some VIP Russian mobsters before he has a chance to protect them?
More on Russia's Public Enemy Number One (from Listverse):
Semion Mogilevich has been described by the FBI as the most dangerous mobster in the world. He is a Ukrainian-born organized crime boss who is believed to be the leader of the Russian Mafia. All decisions related to the expansion and organization of the syndicate is run by Semion Mogilevich. He is an extremely intelligent and ruthless leader who holds a degree in economics. Mogilevich earned the nicknames “Don Semyon” and “The Brainy Don” because of his smarts. According to Wikileaks, Mogilevich has been connected with some huge companies, including RosUkrEnergo, Raiffeisen Bank, and Gazprom, which is a Russian state energy group.
Semion Mogilevich rose to the position of godfather after he gained control of the Solntsevskaya Bratva. The Solntsevskaya Bratva is a powerful crime organization from Moscow named after the Solntsevo neighborhood in the city. The syndicate is considered to be one of the most dangerous criminal groups in the world. They are known for a strict code of violence, drug smuggling, racketeering, illegal gambling, kidnapping, and contract killings. The Russian Mob is also one of the most profitable in the world and Semion Mogilevich is said to be a secret billionaire.
Some articles have even suggested a link between the criminal kingpin and Vladimir Putin, accusing Putin of keeping Mogilevich safe in return for his presidential support. Whatever the case, Semion Mogilevich is currently the most recognized and powerful organized crime boss in the world. He is protected by a thick line of political defenses and continues to control the most detrimental criminal clan of Russia. On October 22, 2009 Mogilevich was named by the FBI as the 494th fugitive to be placed on the Ten Most Wanted list.
Extremely intelligent. Ruthless. Degree in economics. This sounds like the kind of guy who could pull off a successful hack of a U.S. election.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sun Dec 25, 2016, 01:56 AM (2 replies)
I mean it. Shoo! Move along! You do not want to read this.
Ok, now that we are alone, here's what I have been thinking about today. First, some context.
A friend suggests that the GOP will be unable to dump Trump because they fear angering his core constituency of sociopath self styled "outlaws" who prefer "truthiness" to facts or reason and who worship him precisely because he commits crimes and fraud in order to enrich himself and his family. You know, hillbillies. Biker wannabes. People who steal their elderly cancer stricken mother's pain medication because she is too old and demented to enjoy it. People who wish they had not flunked high school chemistry, because they would love to get into the business of making and selling meth, not just using it. People who cheat on their taxes. People who slip in Krogers as a living. People who commit insurance fraud. People who buy a dress, wear it to the prom and then return it for a full refund. People who feel no guilt about these and other criminal actions, because society "owes" them. People who do not understand that they belong to a "society." People who may not even understand what the word "society" means.
Add to this Trump supporters' propensity to commit acts of violence and terrorism in his name proudly, boldly--almost as if they are auditioning for roles as mob goons in his organized crime administration----and you have a rabble that few politicians would want to rouse. These dudes and dudettes are toting guns, forchrissakes! There is no telling who or what they will try to shoot. So, the Republican Congress will try to anoint him the new Ronald Reagan instead, except as an outlaw cowboy this time. Think Henry Fonda in "Once Upon a Time in the West."
However, this is not the real Trump. This is a story of Trump as Bandit of the People. Robin Hood. Pretty Boy Floyd. And a story can be dissected and twisted and used to ones own political ends.
Do the members of the press have what it takes to defeat President Public Enemy Number One? We know they want to. He called them out on the carpet and now they hate his guts. But will they understand that there is a right way to separate a popular mob boss from his followers and a wrong way?
I am putting my money on ABC. Disney/the Mouse showed exceptional narrative brilliance in 2006 when they helped Democrats win control of Congress, first through the GOP-Propaganda piece that was really a stealth Democratic Propaganda piece----"The Path to 9-11" and then when they outed Congressman Foley.
Since George Stephanopolous was in the room when Trump shit all over the press, I expect the Mouse to take a keen interest in his administration. And heaven help anyone who gets on the wrong side of the Mouse. All the GOP did was threaten to pass a la carte cable and look what Disney did to them.
I think we will see a media dogpile on Trump, but I am counting upon ABC to come up with the winning strategy. What's the point of having all those writers and creative people at Disney if you do not know how to manipulate the narrative--and win hearts and minds while doing so?
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sun Dec 18, 2016, 04:53 AM (5 replies)
First off, let me make one thing clear. This diary is about the United States and other so called first world countries. If you are poor and in pain and living in a third world country, your pain will not be treated. Period. Because international drug policy says that morphine (which is dirt cheap) is much too dangerous to put into the hands of health care workers in poor countries. They will divert it to the black market (we are told). And so their patients dying of cancer get acetaminophen and a pat on the hand and a “Maybe if you were good in this life you will be reincarnated into a new life in a more prosperous country and you won’t have to suffer this way next time.”
Ok, enough about our neighbor’s problems. Let’s talk about our own problems. What’s that you say? You are not poor? You are not in chronic pain? And none of your friends or family are poor or in chronic pain? That’s what we call denial. Or willful blindness. Because the woman waiting on your table at Waffle House has two eroded knees. She can barely hobble out of bed each morning, but she spends all day on her feet for tips and minimum wage. She pours your coffee with a smile, even as her hydrocodone wears off. She won’t take another pill until she gets home. It is going to be a long day. The doctors want her to get knee replacements, but she does not have insurance. And if she gets insurance, she won’t be able to afford to take off work for the surgery, because she does not have disability insurance. The hydrocodone allows her to go to work each day so she can pay the rent and buy gas and groceries and take care of her kids.
She knows her doctor secretly thinks of her as a drug addict. She has seen the pharmacist roll his eyes when she comes in for her monthly refill of hydrocodone. She does not list her pain medication when she sees other doctors for fear of what they will think. Because pain is shameful and people who get treated for pain---unless they are children (innocent) or cancer sufferers (unfortunate)---are weak and selfish and should be ashamed of themselves.
Your Waffle House waitress is not alone. The woman working the cash register at Walmart has carpal tunnel syndrome. If she slows down while checking you out, you fume. You tap your foot. She is going as fast as she can---she can’t afford treatment for her carpal tunnel syndrome so she relies on pain medication to get through the day---but your time is valuable. If she can’t keep up, Walmart should fire her and hire someone younger and healthier---
An aside. The recession of 2008-2010 was a godsend to industry which adopted a first hired first fired policy. A fair number of 40 and 50 something middle managers with some seniority and a good salary and benefits with health problem found themselves downsized and reduced to waiting tables, flipping burgers and checking groceries. Jobs that were much more physically demanding than the jobs they lost, jobs with no benefits. That’s how I met them. I was doing family practice at a county clinic at the time. I met a lot of people who had always had good jobs and good benefits until the recession. For the first time in their lives, they had to hold their noses and seek publicly funded health care. And among their many medical problems, chronic pain was often near the top as a barrier to returning to the high paid with benefits work force.
But enough with the up close and personal. What about the public health? What about our right to live in a country where there is no drug addiction problem adding to crime and the rising cost of uncompensated health care? What about our right to make sure that no pill pushers sell our babies prescription drugs without a prescription?
The medical director of a large, county funded clinic for the uninsured stated publicly that “Poor people should not have their pain treated with opiates. They will be tempted to sell their medication.” That doctor was not being cruel. She was looking out for the public health. She was determined to stop the flow of drugs at its source---the waitress who works at Waffle House. The cashier who works at Walmart. The former realtor who kept putting off her knee replacement surgery when she had good insurance because she did not want to miss work but who started slowing down because of the pain so she got downsized and now that she is out of work and has time to get her knee replaced has no insurance, so all she can afford is pain medication. I’ll bet you didn’t know that woman is a (potential) drug pusher. Public enemy number one.
Good news! The GOP is looking out for your kids. One Republican is floating a plan to have Medicaid stop paying for opiates. Cut off the supply, that will dry up the demand. Several states have already capped the amount of pain medication that Medicaid covers. That should help with the awful problem of the working poor selling their pain medications. If we eliminate the ACA, a lot of people will lose their Medicaid benefits, making it even harder for them to obtain pain medication—and if they can’t get medication for their pain, they won’t be tempted to sell it. If we dismantle the Veterans Administration which treats a lot of chronic pain—being blown up by a land mine can have lasting, painful effects---that will further reduce the supply.
Poor people were not put on this earth to enjoy themselves. They were put on this earth by God to remind us that the wages of sin---and being born female or Black or Latino or joining the military and being sent off to fight in a foreign war---are suffering and poverty and pain. They were put on this earth to change the sheets in our luxury hotels and trim the lawns at our golf courses and clean dishes in our four star restaurants. And they will do all this while their knees, backs, hands are killing them, because their suffering is their atonement for the sin of not being born among the Elect. God loves the Trumps of the world and He hates the poor and every time a rich person crushes a poor person under his foot, God gets a great big grin across His bearded white face. Amen. So sayeth Calvin.
Yes, that was sarcasm. Now, some honest emotion. Be careful. What follows is true and may make you cry or at least want to punch something.
Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. A hard worker who, for no fault of her own, was standing in the wrong place when a truck at her job went into reverse instead of forward. She got crushed. Her neck was broken. Through some miracle, she was able to regain the use of her arms and legs, but from that moment on this 20 something lived in chronic pain. Her neck injury also made her blood pressure unstable. That plus her pain would drive her blood pressure up dangerously high.
One day, while in the emergency room for one of her hypertensive crises, she overheard the emergency room physician refer to her as an N-word junky. She left. She called her family doctor. In tears, she described what had happened.
The American health care system, the so called best system in the world failed that woman. It shot her in the heart. It made it impossible for her to ever trust a doctor again. Because that emergency room doctor was not looking out for her good. He was looking out for the public good.
There is no easy solution for the problem of opiate addiction in this country. But there is an easy solution to the problem is stigmatizing people who have real pain for seeking relief from their pain. You wouldn’t deny a poor asthmatic an inhaler because she might sell it. Why deny your Waffle House waitress treatment for her pain?
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sat Dec 17, 2016, 10:29 PM (22 replies)
I have been in denial. I think a lot of us have been in denial. The loss was too great. The change too abrupt. It was too much to process. We denied. We raged. We bargained.
“The recount will come up with a different number.”
“The president will invalidate the election”
“The electors will do the right thing---“
If doing the right thing were still on the table, we would not be where we are now. We are a long way past “doing the right thing.”
The last time I remember feeling this sad and angry and helpless was during the Reagan administration, when Ronnie refused to fund AIDs research, because he claimed the disease was God’s righteous punishment of gays. Lots of friends died…
Today, while looking at the infamous photo of an American dentist gloating over the corpse of Cecil the Lion, I found grief. It’s been somewhere close by ever since the election. Just behind my left shoulder, always just out of sight. I have tried to keep myself busy. Think positive thoughts. Make plans. Don’t mourn, organize. We’ve overcome worse than this----
And then, while scrolling through an online paper, I saw Cecil and the hunter. The pain was sudden, sharp and visceral. My eyes stung with unshed tears. This, I thought, is why we are where we are. Because there are people like this hunter who smile for the camera and boast about killing innocence and beauty and freedom and pride. They grind all that is good in the world under their boot-heel.
I am crying for Cecil and our democracy. I am crying for nature and for the future. Some part of me is even crying for the hunter and Trump----because what kind of horrors must a human being endure to make him boast of being a monster? But most of all, I am crying because I must.
Too long a sacrifice Can make a stone of the heart.
There is no beauty in what Trump has done. Only loss and sorrow. And so, to paraphrase
We “Are changed, changed utterly: A terrible sorrow is born.”
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sat Dec 17, 2016, 05:42 AM (1 replies)
No, I am not speculating. The match is on. Trump threw the first punch when he called Taiwan. China responded with a show of military strength over the South China.
Who decided to pit Trump against China? It was Putin’s idea. Putin needs to continue selling Russian oil to its biggest customer, China. If China becomes energy self-sufficient, Russia goes broke—again. The way it was at the collapse of the USSR, when the Soviet leaders were tossed out of office. If Russia goes broke, Putin will be tossed out of office---and he likes being Czar for Life. So Putin came up with a plan. Get the U.S. and China in a cage and make them fight. Make the South China Sea so hot that China cannot drill for oil. Set the Sea on fire and watch it burn.
That show of military force was a bad move, and it could have ended badly for China, giving the U.S. an excuse to increase its provocative military presence in the South China Sea. But then someone in China decided to stop flailing around wildly and use strategy instead.
Shares of U.S. automakers General Motors and Ford Motor Co. skidded on Wednesday after a Chinese official warned the government could slap a penalty on an unnamed U.S. automaker for monopolistic behavior.
Touche, China! How will Trump respond? The auto industry that he promised to save is now threatened because he is acting like a dick in order to prop up the price of oil. Russian oil. Is that good business? No. Is that good politics? No. Can China hit him---and the United States---again and again right where it hurts? You bet.
So, who wins if you put China and Trump in a cage match? Putin. Who loses? Anyone who works for a U.S. firm that does business with China.
“If Trump wrecks Sino-US trade, a number of US industries will be impaired. Finally the new president will be condemned for his recklessness, ignorance and incompetence,” the newspaper said in an editorial.
The Trump administration could launch trade actions against China's steel sector under the WTO or otherwise, to try to put pressure on China to negotiate trade restraints, but the outcome of any such negotiations would be highly uncertain as Beijing has many options for possible retaliation. For example, China can replace Boeing jets with Airbus and US soybeans with those from South America. A trade war will also jeopardize progress with the US-China Bilateral Investment Treaty, which is currently under negotiation.
Chinese analysts say China has plenty of leverage to retaliate against Mr. Trump. One prominent target is Boeing, whose Seattle plant Xi Jinping, China’s president, visited in September 2015.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Fri Dec 16, 2016, 05:30 AM (1 replies)